Putting Together a Show Bag

Every exhibitor has their own list of ‘must have’ items. Items needed will vary by breed and by what is necessary for the individual cat.

The Showbag – that item which will contain all or most of your show gear. Size and make up again are determined by what you feel you need to carry with you. Some exhibitors use a medium-sized duffle bag, others a small wheeled suitcase. Some wheeled carriers and bubble tents have sufficient space to also store supplies. Start with something simple at first until you determine what works for you. The primary consideration should be something that is easy to carry or roll, will easily contain the gear that you want to contain, and will store away within your benching area during the show.

Your Grooming Kit – again, will vary by breed. Some cats need only a few combs and some coat product. Others will need additional combs and brushes, touchup powders and brushes, trimmers and the like.
However, the essential items to have would include:

  • One or two good metal combs
  • Nail scissors
  • Kleenex and/or cotton pads for cleaning eyes
  • Paper towels for cleaning up accidents

Other essential items for your cat would include:

  • Food and water bowls (small sized)
  • Food (and bottled water is usually a good idea to help prevent tummy upsets)
  • Litterbox and scoop
  • Litter (if your cat needs a special litter. Most clubs provide plain clay litter)
  • Toys and a cosy or hammock to nap in are also nice to make your cat comfortable.
  • Good items to have on hand for you:

    • Pencil/pen (to mark your catalog)
    • Binder clips 
    • A pillowcase (to contain items, cover up a spill, act as a grooming spot cover or a pad for your cat)
    • A copy of the CFA White Pages and the Show Rules 
    • A good book, crossword puzzle, Sudoku

    Some exhibitors have enough gear that they use luggage carts or dollies to haul their show gear. An upright cart allows you to strap a couple of carriers in place with bungee cords and then stack a couple of items on top of them. Dollies come in various sizes and can haul several carriers, show gear, and everything else. Again, items are strapped into place with bungee cords.

    As you gain show experience you’ll find yourself adding to your collection of show gear. It’s a good idea to go through your bag periodically and determine what you still consider ‘essential.’ Nature abhors a vacuum and show bags tend to accumulate all sorts of things! Conversely, should you ever fly to a show, or travel with limited space, you’ll soon realize just how much you can trim your supply list back!